For fifth year in a row, Kentucky will debate public financing of supreme court races

For the fifth year in a row a bill has been introduced to create a public financing system of elections to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

HB 63 of 2015 as prefiled appears to be identical to prior  bills (HB 230 of 2012; HB 31 of 2013; HB 72 / SB 222 of 2014) and similar to a 2011 bill (HB 21 of 2011) that would have covered all judicial elections. Of all of these, the one that advanced furthest was the 2013 iteration which was narrowly approved 48-46 in the House but never taken up on the Senate.

Under the bill, candidates for the state’s top court would be eligible for public funding if they raised $5,000 made up of individual contributions below $25. The main sources of funding for the program be a voluntary income tax refund designation program and a voluntary fee/contribution by members of the Kentucky Bar Association.

HB 63 has been prefiled for 2015 with no committee assignment at this point.